Meissa Vaccines, a US biotech company focused on developing vaccines for the prevention of viral respiratory infections, has raised $30 million in a Series A financing with Morningside Ventures.
The US biotech company plans to use the new capital for the expansion of its team, for undertaking phase 1 and 2 clinical trials for its investigational vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and for supporting a viral vaccine pipeline based on its synthetic biology technology.
Considered to be a common respiratory virus, respiratory syncytial virus typically leads to mild, cold-like symptoms. However, respiratory syncytial virus can be serious, particularly for infants and older adults.
The drug technology platform of Meissa Vaccines utilizes synthetic biology and genetic engineering for the rational design of vaccines that address suboptimal immune responses, vaccine stability, and manufacturing.
The US biotech company’s technologies of reverse genetics and human codon deoptimization enable rapid generation of live attenuated vaccine candidates that can be safer yet more immunogenic compared to the natural pathogens.
Isaac Cheng from Morningside Ventures said: “We were impressed with Meissa’s vaccine platform and pipeline, especially the RSV vaccine candidate, which has the potential to be uniquely effective for both infants and the elderly, two patient populations that are at high-risk of RSV disease.
“Investing in Meissa Vaccines aligns with our commitment to social responsibility, as vaccines save lives and are one of the most impactful investments we can make in improving global health.”
Along with the financing, Isaac Cheng and Stephanie O’Brien of Morningside will join Meissa Vaccines’ board of directors.
Martin Moore – cofounder, and CEO of Meissa Vaccines said: “Our team at Meissa is developing a live attenuated RSV vaccine with potential to prevent RSV disease in infants and children globally, and the vaccine may be useful for boosting immunity in the elderly who also suffer from RSV.
“We are grateful for the Morningside investment which allows us to expand our capabilities and provides opportunities for advancing novel vaccines in the clinic.”